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The Right Stuff (2-Disc Special Edition)

Sam Shepard , Scott Glenn , Philip Kaufman    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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The Right Stuff (2-Disc Special Edition) + From the Earth to the Moon: Signature Edition (Bilingual) + In the Shadow of the Moon
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Product Details


Product Description

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Philip Kaufman's intimate epic about the Mercury astronauts (based on Tom Wolfe's book) was one of the most ambitious and spectacularly exciting movies of the 1980s. It surprised almost everybody by not becoming a smash hit. By all rights, the film should have been every bit the success that Apollo 13 would later become; The Right Stuff is not only just as thrilling, but it is also a bigger and better movie. Combining history (both established and revisionist), grand mythmaking (and myth puncturing), adventure, melodrama, behind-the-scenes dish, spectacular visuals, and a down-to-earth sense of humor, The Right Stuff chronicles NASA's efforts to put a man in orbit. Such an achievement would be the first step toward President Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon, and, perhaps most important of all, would win a crucial public relations/morale victory over the Soviets, who had delivered a stunning blow to American pride by launching Sputnik, the first satellite. The movie contrasts the daring feats of the unsung test pilots--one of whom, Chuck Yeager, embodied more than anyone else the skill and spirit of Wolfe's title--against the heavily publicized (and sanitized) accomplishments of the Mercury astronauts. Through no fault of their own, the spacemen became prisoners of the heroic images the government created for them in order to capture the public's imagination. The casting is inspired; the film features Sam Shepard as the legendary Yeager, Ed Harris as John Glenn, Dennis Quaid as "Gordo" Cooper, Scott Glenn as Alan Shepard, Fred Ward as Gus Grissom, Scott Wilson as Scott Crossfield, and Pamela Reed and Veronica Cartwright are superb in their thankless roles as astronauts' wives. --Jim Emerson

Special Features

For the film's 20th anniversary, a new two-disc edition replaces the original bare-bones DVD. The film looked pretty good on the old disc, but there is more depth to the remastered soundtrack and better yet, you don't need to flip the disc to view the entire film. The second disc of extras is well done, but a bit light. There are 20-minute commentaries from director Philip Kauffman and another track of many actors' fond reminisces of working on the film. They are so engaging it's odd to think there wasn't enough to do a complete commentary track, or even two. A newly produced three-part documentary looks at the project from Tom Wolfe's book to screenplay, the making-of the movie, and interviews with the real participants of the saga. Again, the running time (45 minutes) feels too short. The 13 additional scenes, sans set-up, are really pieces from the cutting-room floor but curiously interesting. The bulk of the extras is the 90-minute PBS program on the life and times of John Glenn, aired around the time of--and mostly about--his second trip into space in 1998. The DVD extras could have used an outside voice--or historian or film critic--to give an objective viewpoint to this outstanding film. --Doug Thomas

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest American Epic June 23 2004
Format:DVD
The fact that "The Right Stuff" lost the Oscar for best picture to "Terms Of Endearment" is beyond me; this movie should have won. The fact that it wasn't a hit at the box office back in 1983 is also beyond me. We are talking about what I think it's the best American epic in all the sense of the word.
It's strange that a Venezuelan-born like me should talk about a movie like this, but I feel that "The Right Stuff" should have been a classic -well, it is for me. The story of the "Mercury" astronauts is portrayed marvelously by Philip Kaufman's direction, showcased beautifully by Caleb Deschanel's stylish photography, and supported by an incredible cast including Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Barbara Hershey, Sam Shepard, Pamela Reed, Kim Stanley, and Veronica Cartwright.
In fact, I remember when I was watching that movie at home, and my late father asked me if a man that appeared on the screen was astronaut John Glenn because he looked just like him. Of course I told him he was an actor who was playing his role. That said, it's incredible to see how Ed Harris is perfectly cast as Glenn.
And I don't want to forget one of the reasons why I love this movie, and that's Bill Conti's spectacular music score. Of course it may sound a little like Holst's "The Planets", but I usually weep every time I listen to the main theme.
I'm glad that a special edition DVD of "The Right Stuff" has been released, with fantastic extras that include new interviews with the cast and crew, deleted scenes, and an incredible documentary on John Glenn. I'm also glad about it because I think that this movie should be rightfully appreciated not only because it deals with historical events like the breaking of the sound barrier and the first American astronauts, but also because, as I said before, this is a classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Spam in a can!" Feb. 3 2004
By Cubist
Format:DVD
When The Right Stuff came out in 1983 it was a big hit with critics but failed to get off the launch pad with audiences. The film disappeared off of almost everyone's radar for the next ten years, only appearing semi-regularly on cable movie channels. After a clunky movie-only DVD (spread over two sides of a single disc), The Right Stuff has finally been given its due respect with a fantastic two DVD set.
The second DVD features two scene specific audio commentaries. This is a recent trend that eliminates dead air by only showing footage from the movie that features comments from the participants. The first track features a good portion of the cast, from the major players like Ed Harris and Dennis Quaid, to minor ones like Donald Moffat and Pamela Reed. The track starts off appropriately with Chuck Yeager's comments on the factuality of the scene where he breaks the sound barrier. The cast all tell good stories about making the movie and one gets the impression that the actors who played the astronauts really bonded while filming-a connection that still stands today.
The second track features select crew from the movie. It is more informative and technical in nature.
"Realizing The Right Stuff" is an excellent retrospective documentary on the making of the film, from the optioning of Tom Wolfe's book to the end of principal photography. The cast and crew tell all sorts of fascinating stories, however, the difficulties with William Goldman's initial drafts of the screenplay are not even mentioned (for more on this check out Tom Charity's BFI book).
"T-20 Years and Counting" documents the post-production process. This was before CGI and so all the special effects were achieved simply, using models and other low tech methods with results that still hold up today.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "There was a demon that lived in the air." Nov. 29 2003
Format:DVD
The story behind America's journey into space has always been a fascinating tale. The courage displayed by the early space pioneers cannot be understated. This select group of men placed their lives on the line for the pride of a nation and helped shape the course of space flight well into the current century. Their story has been immortalized in Philip Kaufman's "The Right Stuff."
Knowing the dangers involved with testing new experimental spacecrafts, a group of pilots chose to brave the odds in their quest to travel the stars. There are several arcs in the film that follow these pilots with the ones involving John Glenn (Ed Harris), Leroy "Gordo" Cooper Jr. (Dennis Quaid), and Virgil "Gus" Grissom (Fred Ward) being the most engaging. Each arc explores the unique contribution each man made to the space program. In addition, the film also explores how the astronauts' newfound celebrity changed their personal lives and their place within the American popular consciousness.
The triumph of "The Right Stuff" is its ability to chronicles just how difficult and dangerous a venture it was to travel beyond the Earth during the early stages of America's space program. Television and historical accounts of the early space flights typically did not show this dimension of the initial flights - we saw the rockets taking off, we glimpsed some footage of outer space, and then we saw the capsules returning back to Earth. The public never saw the blood, sweat, and tears it took to develop and implement the space vehicles and the hard decisions made by individuals who were placing their lives or the lives of others at risk. Kaufman is careful to document each link in the chain in the evolution of the space program and all its accompanying dangers.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Right Stuff (Digibook blu-ray): wonderful movie for its history,...
VIDEO:

This 30th Anniversary Edition of The Right Stuff debut on blu-ray with MPEG-4 AVC (22.50 Mpbs) 1080p 1.85:1 encode. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dr. Joseph Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT STUFF!!!!
What a great, under appreciated film. Transfer looks great. Special effects hold up great.
The docs are ample and informative. The packaging is stellar. BUT... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Joker-scar
4.0 out of 5 stars replacing our vhs
this was such a good movie... a great family movie...a part of history..i recommend this. good actors which made it well made
Published 10 months ago by leona lapointe
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Stuff
I have always loved this movie. It's well acted, it's entertaining, somewhat factual and keeps moving so you don't get bored. An A-ok movie
Published 14 months ago by Carol Ann Reid
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
The movie stands the test of time. Worth buying and watching. A great history of the Apollo missions. The start of the space race.
Published 19 months ago by Sean Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Right Stuff
Even though this movie runs for over 2 hours it is a time well spent. This movie is a wonderful, witty satire, a mix of historical facts, politics, fame and human emotions.
Published on May 12 2012 by Ann Sophie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great from Start to Finish!
This is a long film, but it is so good that the time flies (excuse the pun). It is a fascinating story and the excellent cast capture the complex mix of personalities that made up... Read more
Published on July 11 2009 by Neil Olsen
4.0 out of 5 stars well done
Hollywood has mostly ignored one of the most dramatic events of the modern age, the space program. It's been willing to lavish millions on sci-fi and fantasy but has been meager... Read more
Published on July 8 2004 by Harry Pandolfino
5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS
"The Right Stuff", based on Tom Wolfe's book and directed by Phillip Kaufman, was a wonderful American story about the Mercury space program that told the tale of U.S. Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by Steven R. Travers
5.0 out of 5 stars Lavish Epic
Timeless saga of the founding of the US space program, thrilling written and directed by Philip Kaufman. All the components work beautiful together... Read more
Published on April 16 2004 by Nelson Aspen
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